About Us


Elizabeth Morse Genius was the first child and only daughter of Charles Hosmer Morse. Charles Hosmer Morse was a prominent industrialist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a founder of the Fairbanks Morse Company. Elizabeth inherited a profound family tradition of industry and philanthropy. Though she spent time in Florida, Elizabeth Morse’s life was rooted in Chicago, where she was born in 1872. Her family home was filled with custom-made arts and crafts furniture, Tiffany glass, and paintings by artists ranging from Albert Bierstadt to American impressionists such as Edward Duffner, Guy Wiggins, and John Carlson.

After graduating from school, where she studied music and painting, Elizabeth spent a year in Europe. She followed this with studies at Wellesley College, from which she received a degree in art.

Elizabeth married Dr. Richard Genius in 1905. She gave birth to two children, Richard and Jeannette. The children spent summers on a Vermont farm where they enjoyed the simple pleasures of the countryside. The family “wintered” in Florida, but Chicago was considered their home.

The Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation was established in 1959 by Jeannette Genius McKean in memory of her mother, Elizabeth Morse Genius.

Mission and Vision

The foundation was established in May 1959, in honor of Mrs. Elizabeth Morse Genius, who was the mother of the founder, the late Mrs. Jeannette Genius McKean. The Foundation was established exclusively for recognition of religious, charitable, scientific, educational, literary or educational purposes, and to promote the welfare of mankind.


The Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation supports the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park Florida.

Other major recipients of support include Rollins College, the University of Central Florida, and other educational institutions, as well as not-for-profit organizations contributing to the quality of life in Central Florida.

Our Promise

No part of the income or principal of the Foundation shall inure to the benefit of or be distributed to any member, trustee, or officer of the corporation or any other private individual, but reimbursement for expenditures of the payment of reasonable compensation for services rendered shall not be deemed to be a distribution of income or principal.


Some of our most common questions can be found below.
Is a Letter of Intent required?

A Letter of Intent is not required, however, an email directed to grants@geniusfoundation.org stating intent to submit a proposal is suggested.

What is the main funding of the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation?

Funding follows the support of organizations and activities comparable in purpose to those supported by the McKeans during their lifetimes. The organization types are listed under Qualified Organizations. The Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation is granted its main funding for the operation of the Charles
Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.

What is the typical size of grant awarded?

The purpose of the grant proposal and ask amount is taken into consideration when determining amount to be awarded. Funding ranges from a few thousand dollars to more than $1 million.

How often may an organization apply?

An organization may apply for either of the funding cycles once each year. An organization may apply in consecutive years however should be aware that repetitive funding is discouraged.

Is a report required?

If a report will be required it will be included in the award letter. Timing for required reports will vary based on the purpose and timeline of the project.

What is the grant review process?

All grant proposals are screened for completeness, accuracy and consistency with stated guidelines. Grant review meetings or site visits may be scheduled at the discretion of the Board of Trustee. The full Board reviews all proposals and makes funding decisions at the scheduled Trustee Meetings.

Who may I contact for additional information?

Send an email with your questions and contact information to: bonnie@geniusfoundation.org.